No takers for the Pazhassi lion's den

No takers for the Pazhassi lion's den

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KANNUR: With the state government reportedly backtracking from the proposal to convert the ancestral home of Kerala VarmaPazhassi Raja into an archaeological monument, family members of the famed ruler, known as the Lion of Kerala, are in a fix and now they are seriously thinking of selling off the property to developers who are willing to protect the monument while constructing other properties there.

"When we proposed to the government in February 2012 to acquire the ancestral house and develop it into an archaeological museum, they were apparently enthusiastic and minister for rural development, planning and culture K C Joseph said the state government will take all steps to declare the ancestral home a monument," P K Ravivarma Raja, a member of Pazhassi family and patron of the Pazhassi Raja Charitable Trust told TOI.

"But now the government says it cannot acquire the property and is willing to protect it if we hand it over to the government free of cost, but we cannot do that. In this condition, we will be forced to sell it off to property developers who could develop the site while protecting the ancestral house as a monument," he said adding that the government's attitude feels humiliating.

"Though we regularly maintain the house, which is more than 150 years old, we will not be able to do so forever as nobody stays in it. In order to protect it from further ruin, someone should take it over," he said. "If the government is not willing to acquire it, we will have to think of alternative measuress, including selling it off to some developers," he added.

If the government can pay for the takeover of Sukumar Azhikode's house and land in Thrissur, what prevents them from doing the same when it comes to such a historic monument, ask these people who want the government to take over this kovilakam of archeological importance.

"This is not only humiliating, but a reflection of the negative attitude of the government towards our history," said K Bhaskaran master, chairman of Mattannur municipality, who had campaigned for developing the Kovilakam as an archeological monument. "Though the government is not at all enthusiastic, we are developing a Pazhassi museum on our own in a plot of land that belongs to the municipality near the ancestral house at an expense of over Rs 70 lakh."

He said the museum, which is expected to be ready by November, will have several records collected from the archives department, besides books on Pazhassi Raja. The municipality has also approached the government for a large rosewood to make a wooden statue of Pazhassi Raja.

But if the government fails to take steps to protect the monument, we may soon see a 'for sale' board at the Pazhassi Raja Kovilakam, not because the Pazhassi family wants to sell it off but due to the negligent attitude of the authorities
ANOTHER 200 YEARS LATER-{2013 TO 2213 A.D}




Pazhassi Raja